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Direct Mail Formats

Direct mail is highly flexible and creative with formats. From letters and postcards to brochures, newsletters and custom die cuts, the variety of mail is wide-ranging. In addition to its long shelf-life, direct mail’s tangible aspect is unique compared to email and digital. When it comes to choosing your direct mail format, it can get a bit overwhelming – there’s so much to choose from. To get you started, we’ve listed out a few options to consider:

Flat Postcards

Flat postcards come in different sizes, from 4.25″ × 6″ to 6″ × 11″. Larger cards will have more stopping power, while smaller cards are more affordable. Postage strategies vary for each size. What’s nice about flat postcards is that they are immediately recognized, and the familiarity of these cards makes them a welcomed surprise in the mailbox.

Folded Postcards

These self-mailers open up to reveal your message and have plenty of room for multiple images and product information. There are plenty of formats to choose from, including panoramic folds, gate-folds, tri-folds, and more! What’s great about these postcards is that you can pack in a ton of information and they qualify to mail at a letter rate. Folded cards also come with the option to insert into envelopes.

Direct Mail Formats

Small-Sized Postcards

Smaller postcards are memorable because of their unusual size. These popular squares, for example, are quite eye-catching and make for fun ride-alongs in a folded postcard as a reminder to keep handy for an event, a promotion, an upcoming discount, or something else you’d want someone to remember about your mailing. Now, if you want to print and mail a larger-sized square, they come in various sizes, from the small 2-inch to 6 inches.

Direct Mail Formats


Think of these as mini catalogs that can be as short as four pages to over 100 pages long, enabling you to include a ton of information and imagery. Just like a catalog, booklets have a long shelf-life and can help drive consumers to make a purchase or interact with your brand in some other way. Booklets are a sure way to stand out in the mail, and consumers take notice; according to Small Biz Trends, 80-90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to email at only 20-30%.


While seemingly old-fashioned, a letter is one of the most powerful ways to tell a longer or more personal story. And with new variable printing technologies, they’re available for customized images, so letters don’t just have to be filled with text only. Add matching custom printed envelopes to create a polished, professional-looking package.

The variety of mailing options truly is endless when it comes to direct mail, but one thing remains constant: direct mail outperforms all digital channels as far as return-on-investment goes, and that’s something worth keeping in mind when considering where to spend your marketing dollars.

Call a Direct Marketing Specialist at 800.959.8365.

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